Please read the beginning of this story as shown within the “Afghanistan Story” tab above.
Afghanistan, July 2010, Camp Delaram
The internet was slow. I impatiently tapped my foot as I waited for the webpage to load. When it finally did, I read the information and wrote down a phone number on a piece of paper. I walked into the server room of the TCF and sat cross-legged on the floor next to the green tactical box that held unused equipment.
“Hello, you have reached Planned Parenthood of San Diego. Please listen to the following options before choos-”
I pressed 0.
I don’t have time to listen to menus. Get me a person.
“Hello, this is Nurse Trisha, how may I help you?”
“Hi. I have a few questions.”
“I’m sorry, there seems to be a delay.”
“There will be. I have some questions?”
“Okay, what are they?”
“What’s the latest someone can get an abortion?”
“We don’t perform abortions after the first trimester.”
“So 12 weeks?”
“How much do they cost?”
“It depends on how far along are you. Do you have insurance?”
“Oh, well, Tricare doesn’t cover anything regarding an abortion unless the baby is the result of a rape or in cases of incest. Is this true for you?”
“No, not the result.”
“Then you’ll need to use Planned Parenthood. We have options for people who can’t pay the full amount through outside donors. How far along are you?”
“Well, that is approximately 4-”
I was rapidly doing calculations in my head and I cut her off.
“How much is a 12 week abortion?”
“Um, approximately 900 dollars. The cost of medicine varies. But, may I ask why you would wait? The further along an abortion is, the more invasive and dangerous it is.”
“I, uh, I kinda can’t get to a center right now.”
“Ma’am, I’m sure your life is busy but your health matters in this situation.”
“Am I able to just walk in?”
“You’ll need an appointment. If you decide to walk in, we might be able to see you but we can’t promise anything.”
“Okay, thanks for the help.”
“Have a good day!”
I hung up the phone and sat with my head in my hands, continuously doing the math.
I got to Afghanistan in March. Deployments are typically 6-7 months long. It’s the end of July. August makes six months. September makes seven. I’ll be 12 weeks along September 17th. Is this possible? Can I do this?
I blocked out the thought that this was my child I was so excited about. I blocked out that this was the child I had wanted so desperately. I pushed those thoughts out of my head and starting building a wall around the part of my heart that had jumped for joy when I saw the plus sign. Brick by brick, I built the wall and dehumanized the child I was carrying and tried to ignore when Will came into my tent.